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Lincoln Crossing

One of the top business stories in Lincoln this year was Gordmans' announcement that the retail chain was declaring bankruptcy and closing its stores, including this one in north Lincoln.

Gordmans will live on but at about half its current size, after a Texas-based retailer won a bankruptcy auction for the struggling retailer.

A bid by Stage Stores Inc., a Houston-based retailer that operates the Bealls department store chain and other store brands, was chosen by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska, according to documents filed Thursday.

In a news release, Stage Stores said it plans to assume the leases of 50 Gordmans locations and keep them open. It also has the rights to assume leases for an additional seven stores and a distribution center.

The company said the other 48 Gordmans locations will be liquidated and closed.

The locations remaining open were not identified, either in bankruptcy documents or by Stage Stores, leaving it unclear what will happen to the Lincoln store at 5050 N. 27th St. in the Lincoln Crossing shopping center.

Michael Glazer, president and CEO of Stage Stores, said the company will keep the Gordmans brand and will hire a significant number of the company's retail employees.

"We are pleased to enhance our store portfolio with the most desirable Gordmans locations, giving Stage a strong Midwestern presence in markets generally larger than those we serve today," he said in the news release.

Stage has stores in 38 states, but the vast majority of them are in the South and on the East Coast. Glazer says he thinks the Gordmans stores it is buying can thrive once they are free of significant debt and unprofitable locations.

Gordmans filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 13, partnering with liquidators to present what is known as a stalking horse bid. The deal with Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group called for Gordmans creditors to get at least $74 million based on a projection that its inventory would sell for between $145 million and $153 million.

It is not known exactly how much Stage Stores is paying for Gordmans. The deal calls for Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group to handle the liquidation of the locations that will be closing.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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